Nano 33 BLE Sense Python Guide

Discover how to access the features on the Nano 33 BLE Sense using Python scripts.

The Nano 33 BLE Sense
The Nano 33 BLE Sense

The Nano 33 BLE Sense board board can be programmed using the popular Python programming language. More specifically, it supports OpenMV's fork of MicroPython, where MicroPython is an implementation of the Python language, designed to run on microcontrollers. In this article, you will find a lot of sample scripts that will work directly with your Nano 33 BLE Sense, such as general GPIO control, reading onboard sensors and Wi-Fi/BLE communication!

  • If you want to read more about Arduino & Python, you can visit the Python with Arduino article. Here you will find a lot of useful examples, such as how to use delays, interrupts, reading pins and more general functions.

Hardware & Software Needed

This guide does not cover the installation of OpenMV and MicroPython on your board. Please refer to Getting started with OpenMV and Nano 33 BLE Sense for a detailed guide.


Below you will find a lot of useful examples that can be loaded to your Nano 33 BLE Sense board. Many of these examples were extracted from the OpenMV repository, where you can find many useful examples for other boards as well.

In this article, you will only find examples for the Nano 33 BLE Sense board. For more information on how to use delays, read and write to pins, please refer to the Python with Arduino main article.

Pin Control

The pinout for the Nano 33 BLE Sense and the NRF52840 microcontroller varies greatly. For example, if we are to use D2 according to the Arduino pinout, we would actually need to use pin 43.

# Defining "D2" on the Nano 33 BLE Sense p0 = Pin(43, Pin.OUT)

In the MicroPython port of the Nano 33 BLE Sense board, the pinout is the same as the Nordic NRF52840 (the microcontroller). You will find a pin map below this section that explains how to address the different pins.

Pin Map

Before you start using the board's pins, it might be a good idea to check out the table below to understand the relationship between Arduino's pinout and the NRF52840's pinout.


Analog Pins

To read the analog pins on the Nano BLE Sense, we can choose from the following pins:

  • A0 - 4
  • A1 - 5
  • A2 - 30
  • A3 - 29
  • A4 - 31
  • A5 - 2
  • A6 - 28
  • A7 - 3

To define them, we need to import the machine module, and define the pin as follows:

import machine adc_pin = machine.Pin(29) adc = machine.ADC(adc_pin)

To read the analog pin, simply use:

reading = adc.read_u16() #16-bit resolution (0-65535)

The below script will read the A3 pin on the BLE Sense and print the value in the terminal.

import machine import time adc_pin = machine.Pin(29) # A3 adc = machine.ADC(adc_pin) while True: reading = adc.read_u16() print("ADC: ",reading) time.sleep_ms(500)

LED Control

There are 3 different LEDs that can be accessed on the Nano BLE Sense: RGB, the built-in LED and the power LED.

They can be accessed by importing the LED module, where the RGB and built-in LED can be accessed.

from board import LED led_red = LED(1) # red LED led_green = LED(2) # green LED led_blue = LED(3) # blue LED led_builtin = LED(4) # classic built-in LED (also accessible through pin 13)

To access the power LED we need to import the Pin module.

from machine import Pin led_pwr = Pin(41, Pin.OUT)


Blink all RGB lights every 0.25 seconds.

from board import LED import time led_red = LED(1) led_green = LED(2) led_blue = LED(3) while (True): # Turn on LEDs led_red.on() led_green.on() led_blue.on() # Wait 0.25 seconds time.sleep_ms(250) # Turn off LEDs # Wait 0.25 seconds time.sleep_ms(250)

Built-in LED

The classic blink example! Blink the built-in LED every 0.25 seconds.

from board import LED import time led_builtin = LED(4) while (True): # Turn on LED led_builtin.on() # Wait 0.25 seconds time.sleep_ms(250) # Turn off LED # Wait 0.25 seconds time.sleep_ms(250)


There are several sensors onboard the Nano 33 BLE Sense. The scripts below can be used to access the data from each of them.


Access the accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope data from the LSM9DS1 IMU module.

import time import lsm9ds1 from machine import Pin, I2C bus = I2C(1, scl=Pin(15), sda=Pin(14)) lsm = lsm9ds1.LSM9DS1(bus) while (True): #for g,a in lsm.iter_accel_gyro(): print(g,a) # using fifo print('Accelerometer: x:{:>8.3f} y:{:>8.3f} z:{:>8.3f}'.format(*lsm.read_accel())) print('Magnetometer: x:{:>8.3f} y:{:>8.3f} z:{:>8.3f}'.format(*lsm.read_magnet())) print('Gyroscope: x:{:>8.3f} y:{:>8.3f} z:{:>8.3f}'.format(*lsm.read_gyro())) print("") time.sleep_ms(500)

Temperature & Humidity (HTS221)

Access the temperature & humidity values from the HTS221 sensor.

import time import hts221 from machine import Pin, I2C bus = I2C(1, scl=Pin(15), sda=Pin(14)) hts = hts221.HTS221(bus) while (True): rH = hts.humidity() temp = hts.temperature() print ("rH: %.2f%% T: %.2fC" %(rH, temp)) time.sleep_ms(100)

Pressure (LPS22)

Access the pressure values from the LPS22 sensor.

import time import lps22h from machine import Pin, I2C bus = I2C(1, scl=Pin(15), sda=Pin(14)) lps = lps22h.LPS22H(bus) while (True): pressure = lps.pressure() temperature = lps.temperature() print("Pressure: %.2f hPa Temperature: %.2f C"%(pressure, temperature)) time.sleep_ms(100)

Ambient Light (APDS9960)

Access the Ambient Light values from the APDS9960 sensor.

from time import sleep_ms from machine import Pin, I2C from apds9960.const import * from apds9960 import uAPDS9960 as APDS9960 bus = I2C(1, sda=Pin(13), scl=Pin(14)) apds = APDS9960(bus) print("Light Sensor Test") print("=================") apds.enableLightSensor() while True: sleep_ms(250) val = apds.readAmbientLight() print("AmbientLight={}".format(val))

Proximity (APDS9960)

Access the Proximity values from the APDS9960 sensor.

from time import sleep_ms from machine import Pin, I2C from apds9960.const import * from apds9960 import uAPDS9960 as APDS9960 bus = I2C(1, sda=Pin(13), scl=Pin(14)) apds = APDS9960(bus) apds.setProximityIntLowThreshold(50) print("Proximity Sensor Test") print("=====================") apds.enableProximitySensor() while True: sleep_ms(250) val = apds.readProximity() print("proximity={}".format(val))

Microphone (MP34DT05)

Below example can be used with OpenMV's frame buffer window (top right corner).

import image, audio, time from ulab import numpy as np from ulab import scipy as sp CHANNELS = 1 SIZE = 256//(2*CHANNELS) raw_buf = None fb = image.Image(SIZE+50, SIZE, image.RGB565, copy_to_fb=True) audio.init(channels=CHANNELS, frequency=16000, gain_db=80, highpass=0.9883) def audio_callback(buf): # NOTE: do Not call any function that allocates memory. global raw_buf if (raw_buf == None): raw_buf = buf # Start audio streaming audio.start_streaming(audio_callback) def draw_fft(img, fft_buf): fft_buf = (fft_buf / max(fft_buf)) * SIZE fft_buf = np.log10(fft_buf + 1) * 20 color = (0xFF, 0x0F, 0x00) for i in range(0, SIZE): img.draw_line(i, SIZE, i, SIZE-int(fft_buf[i]), color, 1) def draw_audio_bar(img, level, offset): blk_size = SIZE//10 color = (0xFF, 0x00, 0xF0) blk_space = (blk_size//4) for i in range(0, int(round(level/10))): fb.draw_rectangle(SIZE+offset, SIZE - ((i+1)*blk_size) + blk_space, 20, blk_size - blk_space, color, 1, True) while (True): if (raw_buf != None): pcm_buf = np.frombuffer(raw_buf, dtype=np.int16) raw_buf = None if CHANNELS == 1: fft_buf = sp.signal.spectrogram(pcm_buf) l_lvl = int((np.mean(abs(pcm_buf[1::2])) / 32768)*100) else: fft_buf = sp.signal.spectrogram(pcm_buf[0::2]) l_lvl = int((np.mean(abs(pcm_buf[1::2])) / 32768)*100) r_lvl = int((np.mean(abs(pcm_buf[0::2])) / 32768)*100) fb.clear() draw_fft(fb, fft_buf) draw_audio_bar(fb, l_lvl, 0) if CHANNELS == 2: draw_audio_bar(fb, r_lvl, 25) fb.flush() # Stop streaming audio.stop_streaming()

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

This example allows us to connect to our board via our phone, and control the built-in LED. We recommend using the nRF Connect applications.

After loading the script below, your board should be listed as "Nano 33 BLE Sense" in the list of available devices. You need to pair in order to control the built-in LED.

# Use nRF Connect from App store, connect to the Nano and write 1/0 to control the LED. import time from board import LED from ubluepy import Service, Characteristic, UUID, Peripheral, constants def event_handler(id, handle, data): global periph global service if id == constants.EVT_GAP_CONNECTED: pass elif id == constants.EVT_GAP_DISCONNECTED: # restart advertisement periph.advertise(device_name="Nano 33 BLE Sense", services=[service]) elif id == constants.EVT_GATTS_WRITE: LED(1).on() if int(data[0]) else LED(1).off() # start off with LED(1) off LED(1).off() notif_enabled = False uuid_service = UUID("0x1523") uuid_led = UUID("0x1525") service = Service(uuid_service) char_led = Characteristic(uuid_led, props=Characteristic.PROP_WRITE) service.addCharacteristic(char_led) periph = Peripheral() periph.addService(service) periph.setConnectionHandler(event_handler) periph.advertise(device_name="Nano 33 BLE Sense", services=[service]) while (True): time.sleep_ms(500)


In this article we have gone through a selection of scripts that will help you control your Nano BLE Sense board, via the OpenMV IDE. Feel free to check out our Python with Arduino boards article, where you can find guides to other boards, useful links to learn Python and more.

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